your brand doesn’t have a positioning statement?

Look at your positioning statement. If you can’t find it or don’t have one, call me. Call your local brand marketer. Call a friend. Call ANYONE who can help. Because without a positioning statement, you’re driving your company’s car blind and will almost certainly crash. Without a positioning statement there’s nothing to keep your team on track, nothing to ensure your brand has a consistent voice and nothing to bring you back online when your train runs off the tracks (and it will).

 

If you don’t have a positioning statement, take the appropriate steps to develop one and do it now. Your brand depends on it.

you created your own march madness?

(This concept comes from Patrick Walsh’s Sports Management class at the University of Syracuse. The students who presented this idea as part of the “Brand Food University” Program are: Matt Bustillo, Drew Derda, Nick Lowenthal, Edan Michener, Max Santos)

 

BRAND FOOD UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE:

How can a mid-major leverage a tournament run to build brand awareness amongst high school basketball players?

 

SECOND PLACE CONCEPT:

A March Madness Cinderella run wraps up every member of a sports audience in its excitement – players, students, and fans of an underdog team. The immense visibility and coverage an unknown team receives is a perfect launching pad for improvements to their program.

A team that has a surprising run should create a showcase tournament during Spring Break for high school sophomores and juniors. This event would appear to be like the Jordan Brand Classic, The Under Armour Elite 22, or McDonald’s All-American Game. College campuses can host these events and increase their image by positioning themselves next to these top-tier recruits. By leveraging their March Madness success, high school recruits will be more inclined to visit these mid-major schools and play in their gyms and campuses. It also provides them the chance to become more familiar with the school and take it into consideration for their commitment. For their own futures, high schoolers will also be incentivized to participate to increase their desirability to college scouts.

An event like this would drive attention from top recruits, basketball fans, and locals of the area. It also keeps the school’s basketball program in conversation even after its Cinderella Run has ended.

virtual reality is the mid-major equalizer?

(This concept comes from Patrick Walsh’s Sports Management class at the University of Syracuse. The students who presented this idea as part of the “Brand Food University” Program are: Hannah Duncan, Nicole Kittay, Yong Hoon (Bryan) Lee, Jordan Novak, Austin Towns)

 

BRAND FOOD UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE:

How can a mid-major leverage a tournament run to build brand awareness amongst high school basketball players?

 

WINNING CONCEPT:

WHAT IF recruits could feel the experience of a Cinderella run in an empty arena? Mid-majors could use virtual reality to immerse recruits in the tournament when they visit the school at any time of the year. They could put on the VR goggles during tours and see what the March Madness run was like. They could hear fans cheering, see plays, and more. They could feel like they are already part of the team with a view from the bench. As they watch moments from the tournament in virtual reality, their interest in the school could increase dramatically. Even if they did not attend the March Madness games or they did not see highlights on TV, the experience would still feel real. The athletes would start to build brand awareness with the schools because each one would feel different. Each school has a different story, and each Cinderella tournament run is unique and memorable in its own way. Mid-majors could use virtual reality even without a tournament run, but a run would make it even more special. Virtual reality would be the closest thing to actually being on the team that the recruits could experience before they choose their school.

team merchandising had a simple solution?

(This concept comes from Dave Meluni’s Sports Management class at the University of Syracuse. The students who presented this idea as part of the “Brand Food University” Program are: Connor Davis, Dean Vergos, Ben Lehrberger, Robbie Duggan, Chris Nolan, Christian Owens)

 

BRAND FOOD UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE:

How can “Upset U” generate media coverage and drive sales using a single piece of merchandise launched at the NCAA tournament

 

THIRD PLACE CONCEPT:

Underdog U can generate and make national media coverage through one piece of clothing; team-themed bandanas. These bandanas will be worn by fans during basketball games and feature the team color scheme. The bandana will be effective because when the camera pans over to the student section or the general admission sections, the bandanas will be clearly visible whether the person wears the bandana across their forehead, across their necks, or its waved around like a flag. Another key component is that bandanas are not relatively popular among sporting events. It is not a typical piece of clothing fans wear to sporting events, it is an accessory. Therefore, the idea of wearing a bandana to a sporting event will hopefully be associated with Underdog U’s school if it catches on. Production of the bandanas is also very cheap as it’s simply a single piece of fabric that can be sold for much more than its production cost, therefore yielding a significant profit if marketed properly.

you went the cowboy way?

(This concept comes from Dave Meluni’s Sports Management class at the University of Syracuse. The students who presented this idea as part of the “Brand Food University” Program are:Ryan Dilts, Phillip Walz, Hongkwan Park, David Chow, Zach Adee, Spencer Frybergh)

 

BRAND FOOD UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE:

How can “Upset U” generate media coverage and drive sales using a single piece of merchandise launched at the NCAA tournament

 

SECOND PLACE CONCEPT:

Our university, Underdog University, recently made the NCAA Tournament! The Underdog Desperadoes are located in a small town in Texas. Our concept idea is to sell yellow and black cowboy hats. These cowboy hats would resemble the one that our mascot, Danny the Desperado, wears. The popularity of cowboy hats in the region will get the local fans to buy into the idea to get it started. As the tournament progresses, the more people will see our team along with our fans. The bright yellow and black color scheme will draw the attention of viewers across the country as these colors are aesthetically pleasing. These cowboy hats will stand out when the fans are shown during the tournament games. Following each game, the “Hee Haw” chant between the fans and players along with the tipping of the cowboy hats by the fans will grab the attention of the media. The combination of these upsets, chants, the unique and bright color scheme, and the popularity of cowboy hats in the team’s area, will allow for Underdog University to generate and make national media coverage and drive sales.

you quit skipping steps?

You might be surprised to learn that a brand marketer’s greatest talent is patience. Not creativity or imagination. Yes, I know the “fun” part of marketing is advertising. Dreaming up the next great television campaign, writing clever twitter copy and doodling print ad ideas onto napkins. But until you’ve taken the critical step of defining your positioning statement, what it is you’re building toward, your ideas are nothing more than guesses. Without that statement to guide you, you’re marketing with your eyes closed. It’s the brand version of pin the tail on the donkey. Sometimes you’ll hit, but more often than not you won’t. Fun for you, but severely damaging to the brand. And yet the answer to avoiding such peril is simple: take a breath.

 

Don’t let your eagerness to promote a brand, takeaway from your ability to build one. Start from the beginning and don’t skip steps.

you built a brand, not a product?

Products come and go, but brands can last forever. Take the iPod. The once dominant market leader in mobile music, and former Apple cash cow, making up approximately 40% of the company’s total revenue in 2006. The same product that suffered an epic fall from grace just eight years later, shrinking to 1% of the corporation’s total revenue by 2014.

 

It’s a familiar product narrative. When you’re hot, you’re hot. When you’re not, you’re not. But what’s unfamiliar is despite the demise of one of their most successful commodities, Apple as a company grew by over 800% in that same period. The brand prospered under duress. Why?

 

Because during those eight years Apple was thoughtfully building loyalty around an overall company brand that proved much stronger than any single product. Today, people are just as likely to buy a Mac for the logo and how it makes them feel, as they are the functionality of the computer itself. That’s the hack. Products serve a purpose, brands give purpose.

 

Which one are you building?

you loved your “job”?

(Post Via Guest Chef Brittany Cohen, Pac-12 Networks and Golden State Warriors Game Operations)

Close your eyes. Take a breath. Go to your happy place.

Where are you?

Maybe you’re on a beach. Maybe you’re in a cabin surrounded by the snow.

Where am I?

I’m surrounded by 60,000 people screaming at the top of their lungs. We all want the same thing. Tim Brown in the endzone. Owen Nolan with a hat trick.

My Happy place? At the 50 yard-line, eight rows back, a hot dog in one hand and a half-spilled beer in the other. Surrounded by painted faces and “DE-FENSE” chants. I’m inside a stadium. It is complete chaos; but this is where I am most at peace.

Sports are my outlet; my breath of fresh air when I need it the most. It turns out, it’s genetic. My mom was just as crazy-passionate about sports as I am. She passed when I was seven, but some of my strongest memories from that time are my mom and I cheering on the Raiders.

To me it’s more than just a game, every game tells a story. I love watching teams grow from a group of individual athletes into a family. I love watching a team on a mission. I love that sports are my happy place, which is why I have chosen a career in sports.

Where are you?

authenticity is sexy?

People who are comfortable in their own skin, are sexy. We want to be with them. Individuals who know and love themselves for who they are, are infectious. We want to be around them. Those unicorns among us who live their lives unapologetically, are role models. We want to be like them. And surprise-surprise, brands are no different.

 

When that upstart surf company rejects public opinion and instead carves out its own radical path, people swoon. People swoon because many strive to live their lives in the same way, but don’t. It’s too scary. That same public opinion, along with the responsibility, fear and consequence that come with being an adult, get in the way. We all have a little anarchy inside of us, but it’s a brave few that actually let it out. And that’s why we’re attracted to the ones that do. They say what we’re thinking. They carry out what we fantasize about. They don’t worry about what other people think, including their own fans. That’s hot.

 

They say people can smell insecurity, but that’s not all that we can smell. Self-assurance gives off a similarly potent scent. The difference is, one turns us off, while the other turns us on.

 

How does your brand smell?